Questions of Homelessness

While sweating atop my elliptical machine today, I began to reminisce about our time spent in Manitou Springs, Colorado.  About six years ago, my wonderful Hubby was employed by the US Department of Defense and we lived at the base of Pike’s Peak.  My best friend was a homeless man who met me every morning outside a small cafe called Magnolia’s.

Pike's Peak, Colorado

There were a lot of homeless in the greater Colorado Springs/Manitou area.  I was curious.  This lead me to the guy in front of that quaint cafe.  Each morning after walking my daughter to school, I would stop and get a small cup of coffee.  Then I would sit outside enjoying the scenery and soaking up the sun.  For several days I noticed a man with a backpack doing the same.  I started a conversation with him and our friendship began.

We would talk for hours about the state of humanity; solving the world’s woes.  This man had chosen to become homeless because he was tired of “participating in the rat race.”  He wasn’t interested in keeping up appearances – having the biggest house, the best clothes, and the most impressive car – instead he was interested in relationships.  Later, I discovered that he was actually an entrepreneur.  He would use the computer at the public library to conduct business and then donate most of his proceeds.

While this does not represent the majority of the homeless population, most of whom are homeless due to economic or mental reasons, it does represent a growing population of do-gooders who are living their lives unchained by consumerism.  Their blogs are splashed all over the internet.  A few of my favorites are:

Chris Guillebeau and his blog He makes a living traveling and blogging about it.  He just released a book called The Art of Non-Conformity. He also supports Charity: Water, an organization that brings clean drinking water to emerging nations

Adam Baker and his blog This guy is married with a toddler.  They paid off all their debt and travel the world, teaching english.  He has a lot of useful information about finances, credit, and travel.

Barbara Wiebel and her blog  This is an amazing woman who completely reinvented her life.  She is over 50 and makes a living traveling and writing about it.  This woman’s story is so inspiring!

These are but a few examples.  If you are interested in joining this new cultural revolution start googling and find out more.

I didn’t know it then, but it seems my journey began with the homeless man in Colorado.  At the time I thought he was a little strange (why wouldn’t you want a big house, etc.,) though part of me envied his freedom.  Who knew I would break free from the shackles of convention and start thinking outside the box?  When you do that, the possibilities you can create for yourself are endless!  My family and I are going to be working/volunteering in South America this summer (assuming all applications are granted.)  I never thought that would be possible.